WIEF PRESS CONFERENCE
Statement by the Minister of State, For Economic Affairs
To Be Delivered at Marriot Islamabad on September 07, 2006
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I welcome you to this press briefing, the curtain raiser for the 2nd Session of World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) on “Unleashing the Potential of Emerging Markets”, a three day event scheduled for 5th – 7th of November 2006 to be held in Islamabad, at the Jinnah Convention Center. This meeting is expected to be attended by over 400 delegates from 57 countries including government officials and business leaders. The conference will feature keynote speakers like President General Pervez Musharraf, Prime Minister Mr. Shaukat Aziz, Prime Minister of Malaysia Mr. Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, King Abdullah of Jordan, President of Indonesia Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Prime Minister of Egypt Mr. Ahmad Nazif.
Ladies and Gentlemen, WIEF is the successor of the OIC Business Forum, and the upcoming session is jointly being organized by the Government of Pakistan, Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute, The Islamic Centre for Development of Trade and The Islamic Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
The first session of this forum held in Malaysia last year, discussed issues relating to the establishment of an Islamic Free Trade Agreement which could ultimately lead to an Islamic common Market, development of a network for global Islamic businesswomen and an education trust for emphasizing science and information technology arenas.
WIEF Foundation is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the Muslim communities by engaging leaders in partnerships to shape the future world, ensure social and economic gains for people and integrate Muslim communities into the global economy. The Foundation provides outstanding interaction and networking opportunities that could open the doors to greater economic cooperation. This Forum provides a platform for the promotion of dialogue and fostering of closer cooperation and partnership among the Muslim business community throughout the world. The Forum also requires the international private sector initiative in identifying the investments and promotion of business collaboration among Muslim entrepreneurs and non-Muslim businessmen. The Forum has the potential to be an important instrument to promote Islam as a peaceful religion as well as to strengthen better understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims through business and economic partnerships. It also works to complement strategies undertaken by various governments to encourage more cross border trade and investment.
We are confident that 2nd session of WIEF will be useful in stimulating new ideas and thinking on business collaboration and economic cooperation not only among Muslims but also between Muslims and non-Muslims. It will also help in enhancing international understanding and goodwill, thereby contributing to world peace and will go a long way in building bridges and strengthening relationships between Muslim entrepreneurs and those of other faiths. There is an urgent need to upgrade the knowledge and technological skills as well as acquisition of new ideas and strategies to develop the communities and countries through active participations in such conferences. Successful business partnerships and economic cooperation would enhance the quality of life of Muslims and contribute to sustainable economic development. It is through sustained development and growth that we will be able to uplift the lives of the poor and eradicate poverty in our respective countries. It is important that investments in education and human capital development are given priority to ensure the right expertise and manpower.
The participants to this forum are heads of governments, top business leaders, political elite, entrepreneurs, journalists, intelligentsia, opinion makers, and representatives of civil society. However, the success of this event will lie in the relationships that develop between individuals and businesses around the world, and how effectively the strategies, suggestions, challenges discussed here help the Muslim world in the social and economic development of these countries.
The forum would cover 8 main themes which will be carried out in parallel and plenary sessions. These sessions would include discussions on a number of critical issues such as the challenges for Muslim leadership in the globalized world, with increasing uncertainty and insecurity caused by global terrorism, high oil prices, rising interest rates on the one hand and, sustained growth and prosperity on the other. Opportunities in Infrastructure Development; the investments required in infrastructure for countries to obtain a competitive advantage. Information Communication and Technology; how the growth in digital convergence is driving new industries and new business models, the investment opportunities with growing levels of outsourcing. Management of Global Energy Demand; the use of alternative and renewable sources of energy and meeting the ever- growing demand of energy products with the increasing prices. Enhancing the Tourism Potential; strategy to increase the number of local as well as foreign tourists and present the Muslim countries as a desirable tourist destination. On the sidelines of the Forum, special sessions have been organized to focus on young entrepreneurs and women leaders in business.
Islamic countries have vast reserves of oil and gas, revenues from which can be channeled into assisting sustainable economic development of Muslim nations around the world. The Forum will address issues such as the promotion of cross-border trade, commerce and investment by providing a conducive ground for interaction and networking among government representatives, industry heads, regional experts, professionals and corporate managers.
Pakistan today is an important player in the international community, with its strategic investment location and geopolitical role. Recent measures such as economic reforms, liberalization, and deregulation and privatization policies have created exciting opportunities for foreign direct investments, boosted investor confidence and driven up economic growth, making the country the ideal venue for holding the prestigious meet. Inshallah, we are confident that this forum will help us explore various opportunities within the Muslim Countries and develop strategies for the promotion of economic and social relationships between the Muslim Countries and their relationships with other countries around the world.
a) Event Date and Topic
c) Keynote Speakers
2) Topics and Participants for this Year’s Session
a) Main themes and issues for discussion
i) Challenges for Muslim Leadership in a Globalized World
ii) Managing Energy Demands- The new Global Energy Paradigm
iii) Opportunities in Infrastructure Development
iv) Tourism the New Growth Industry
v) Information Communication & Technology
b) Participants’ profile
3) Previous Session Highlights
a) Where it was Held
b) Issues Discussed
i) Establishment of Islamic Free Trade Area
ii) Creation of World Islamic Economic Development Cooperation
iii) Global Islamic Businesswomen’s Network
4) Foundation Introduction and Purpose
a) What does WIEF Foundation do
b) Purpose of this Forum
i) Business Collaboration and Economic Cooperation
ii) Encouragement of cross border trade and investment
iii) Technology transfer
iv) Improved global Image
v) Relationship Building
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